SWEET SEND-OFF TO SUMMER BREAK

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The new school year has not yet begun but KISD campuses were crowded with parents, students and teachers for the annual “Meet the Teacher” event on Thursday.

Each campus provided opportunities to help students finish up the last few things they needed to register, get the right class supplies and meet their new instructors face-to-face. At the end of the day, families gathered in the high school field house for the Watermelon Fest, where Kilgore students put on a show featuring performances from the band, cheerleaders, twirlers and the color guard.

Registrations events began at the primary school, where many families were taking their child to class for the very first time.

Kindergarten teacher Jessica Nichols was shaking hands with parents, greeting students and explaining classroom schedules.

“There are a few papers for the parents to fill out,” Nichols said. “The students will get their name tags and they will get their cubbies.”

As parents chatted with Nichols, students raced across the classroom to explore their new desks, storage cubbies and meet new classmates.

Region 7 Communications Specialist Summer Stone was in Nichols’ classroom on Thursday getting her daughter Reaghan ready for her first day of class after pre-k.

“It’s kind of awesome. We’re ready for big school,” Stone said.

In the lobby of KPS, the KHS Hi-Stepper officers greeted families and posed for pictures with students eager to meet the dancers in their white and red uniforms.

“We’re registering kids for our fall dance camp,” said Kourtney Ford, a KHS senior and Hi-Stepper lieutenant.

As the “Meet the Teacher” event wound down at KPS, things were just getting started at Chandler Elementary.

Third grade teacher Sonia Ingle used an interactive game to get students accustomed to her classroom while talking with their parents.

“It’s been going fast,” Ingle said. “I’ve met about five students and it’s only been 15 minutes.”

Ingle explained she created a scavenger hunt for the students to “learn where to go and what to leave at their desk.”

While the students were busy, Ingle used the time to introduce parents to a new software being introduced at Chandler this year called ClassDojo. The program allows students to create a digital classroom portfolio, letting parents track their students’ achievements and communicate with the teacher by instant message.

The event moved to the intermediate school next.

KMS cheerleaders and Bulldog mascots waved and greeted parents and students as they entered the campus. KIS principal Kim Slayter joined them to welcome new students to the school.

“It’s going good,” Slayter said of the “Meet the Teacher” event. “I think we’ve got more people here than ever before. That’s what it seems like. We’ve got just about everybody registered.”

Slayter said over 600 students had registered for the 2018-2019 school year at KIS.

The middle school campus was the final stop for many families on Thursday before going to the Watermelon Fest to celebrate the new school year.

On the second floor of KMS, eighth grade science teacher Tonia Loper was greeting students, telling them what supplies they would need for her class and directing them to the lab stations they would be using during the year.

“A lot have shown up,” Loper said. “We are organizing their supplies and getting them ready for the new year.”

In Loper’s classroom, Nancy Willis and Sarah Buchanan were finishing up a long day at “Meet the Teacher” events. Like many families, they had traveled from campus to campus to get each child in the family ready for the first day of the semester.

“This is our last school, finally,” Willis said.

Following the event, many families gathered at the KHS field house for a slice of cool watermelon from a refrigerated truck at the end of a long, hot day.

KISD students will begin fall semester classes on Monday, August 20.

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